The air this morning when we set about further post-storm garden recovery work hung humid and eerily still.

Concentrating on the patio area and the sweet peas corner of the kitchen wall, Jackie trimmed the Lathyrus odoratus and extricated the strangled tomato plant. From less than polite expressions of intense disappointment yesterday when discovering broken geranium stems, her exclamations have been the more optimistic “ah, another cutting”. The greenhouse is going to be pretty full this winter.

Naturally Nugget kept her company.

Where’s Nugget? An easier puzzle today.

Elsewhere pelargoniums, petunias, rudbeckias, and hoverflies sharing a poppy enjoyed the early sunshine.

My task was dead-heading roses in the Rose Garden where

heavy bees clambered over the tiny blooms of the verbena bonarensis;

Lady Emma Hamilton laid her head on the block;

Jacqueline du Prรฉ played on;

a hoverfly flew to the Blue Moon;

Crown Princess Margareta bustled voluminously;

Summer Wine was drunk with joy;

and Absolutely Fabulous certainly was.

Eventually leaden skies and heavy rain brought us inside. When Jackie heard that Nugget, whom she had missed, had come to join me, she uttered “turncoat”.

By mid-afternoon the skies had cleared and the weather brightened. We drove to Ringwood for Jackie to buy some new garments from M & Co. and returned home via the forest.

At first we progressed north along Avon Way and turned right into sun-dappled Sky Lane.

A severed string of ponies spanning the road at Ibsley left space for one passing vehicle or a young neophyte equestrian to thread a way through.

Several donkey families were stationed outside Hyde School. One couple seemed to be waiting to register their foal in advance of its reaching the age of admission;

another little one enjoyed a scratch on the road junction. An alarming driver turning the corner blasted his horn at the unperturbed animal which took no notice. I might have heard it borrowing Catherine Tate’s line: “Do I look bothered?” as, peeking over its flanks, it nonchalantly nibbled its hide.

The loud blast of a foghorn behind me alerted me to an agitated mother ushering her infant across the road at quite a rate.

As we returned through Ibsley the ponies, now on the move, tails twitching, like sensible walkers faced the oncoming traffic.

This evening Elizabeth visited because her phones weren’t working and she needed to phone Mum, which she did from my mobile which was coincidentally being charged up. Naturally, beginning with drinks on the patio, she stayed for dinner which consisted of Jackie’s tasty tender beef and mushroom pie; crunchy cauliflower, carrots, and cabbage; and new potatoes. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden while my sister and I drank Casillero del Diablo reserva Shiraz 2017.


  1. You had fun with the names of flowers today – and I enjoyed your work ๐Ÿ™‚ Little Nugget is a joy and I’m pleased to hear there is some compensation from the storm damage – the cuttings!

  2. Nugget is such a good little assistant for Jackie, isn’t he? Avon Way looks gorgeous, Derrick! It appears all of the animals are happy to enjoy better weather. Thanks for sharing the great photos with us!

  3. Iโ€™m simply fascinated by Nuggetโ€™s attachment to Jackie. Such a sweet relationship. I think Nugget understands that heโ€™s lucked into the best place on earth. I wonder if he could be trained to deadhead?

  4. The Crown Princess Margareta are magnificent. Soon your garden will be back to good as new – and even better with all that care. Good for you! Hats off to Jackie and Nugget. What a team!!
    <3 <3

  5. A charming post, Derrick. I enjoyed your rose comments! Luckily plants usually bounce back after storm damage unless itโ€™s severe. The damage I mean, not the storm.

  6. I chuckled my way through this post, Derrick, from your clever commentary–especially over the flower names. ๐Ÿ™‚
    So glad that garden, Nugget, and your family are doing well.

  7. One question – do you know all the names of the flowers or do you ask Jackie or has she helfully written all the names on cards? I only ask because I was never able to keep up with what grew in my wife’s garden.

  8. Gorgeous photos of your flora and local fauna Derrick, fabulously finished with sparkling wit. ๐Ÿ™‚

    That poor bee appears to have a verbena tubule stuck on his proboscis?? Hopefully he’s a Taylor Swift fan and managed to ‘shake it off’?

    I think Where’s Nugget may need to be a little more of a challenge next time, although it is a beautiful image of him sitting on the watering can. Perhaps he was musing, “Where’s Jackie?”

    I would have thought that seeing Lady Emma Hamilton’s head on the block, Jacqueline would have du Pre’d, surely? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. HA! Your witty enjoyable commentary always makes me smile and laugh, Derrick! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ˜€

    Oh! Little Nugget loves you both and has to divide the time between you! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚

    Those donkey faces get me every single time! ๐Ÿ™‚ AW!
    And the “Do I look bothered?” made me snort-laugh! ๐Ÿ˜€ We must learn to be patient because nature always does it’s own thing in it’s own time.
    HUGS!!! to all!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Although some plants are feeling the effects of the storm, many seem to continue to prosper! One of those ponies is wide enough to look pregnant, no? I don’t think I ever realized how cute the donkeys are!!

  11. Nugget has become quite the little star. Always a treat to see him as well as the beautiful flowers. Inconvenient that Elizabeth’s phone didn’t work, but having drinks on the patio and one of Jackie’s delicious meals surely made up for this.

      1. The way technology is moving, perhaps someone will invent a scratch and sniff screen!

        Lovely photos of the garden and I enjoyed seeing the ponies and donkeys, and of course little Nugget.

  12. Your captions are wonderful, Derrick! My favourite photo today is the hover fly and the Blue Moon. So good to know the ponies are aware of sensible walking practices. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. Nice to spot Nugget on garden duty, and it’s heartwarming to see that your marvelous roses have weathered the storm rather well, Derrick. Those ponies and donkeys do own the road, don’t they!

      1. My pleasure, Derrick. I know the animals have the right of way, but it’s uncanny that the animals are aware of it and act like royalty in a ceremonial procession. At least that’s the impression I get from your fabulous photos.

  14. Isn’t it fun to have the Nugget in your garden? ๐Ÿ™‚
    Love the gorgeous roses, especially the yellow/ tan shade. Those were always my favorites.

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